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2019-08-25, posts

re-creating my website—and a suggestion for you

Previously, I was running my website on Cargo and posting daily on a separate Tumblr blog.

It worked, but there were a few problems:

Last Friday evening, I found a piece of amazing blogging software called Blot.im. It’s simple:

  1. Blot creates a folder in your Dropbox.
  2. You place text files or images (or other files) in this folder.
  3. Blot automatically publishes them on your blog.


I set it up very quickly, messed with the site templates for a few hours, and now the site’s fully functional. That’s hopefully where you’re reading this post.

the vision—sort of

Seth Godin has built an empire largely based off the thousands of readers of his daily blog. While I don’t expect to do the same, writing every day feels right. Having a public place to publish keeps me accountable.

A secondary effect is that the people who are interested in what I’m doing have a place to access me. These one-way internet relationships don’t amount to much, but one day they might.

further steps

On Tumblr, you can schedule posts in the future and have them automatically share to Twitter when they post. This was helpful for me since I don’t actively use Twitter but I like to stay active there if I can.

To emulate this on Blot, I set up a Zap on Zapier that 1) looks for new posts from my RSS feed, 2) adds them to my Twitter queue on Buffer, and then 3) Buffer shares whatever the next post in the queue is at 12:12 PM EST every day.

a suggestion

It’s hard to go running if you make running hard.

You could make running difficult by (falsely) thinking that you need to:

If all those conditions need to be met for you to go running, chances are you won’t do it very often. In reality, you just need a decent pair of running shoes, some shorts and a t-shirt to go running. It’s simple. You just have to make it simple for yourself.

The same goes for creating. Part of the reason you won’t find me painting anytime soon is because it takes a lot of setup. You need a canvas, a working surface, paints, all sorts of things. For me to write, however, all I need is my laptop. (For me to write something great is a different story.)

Make it as easy as you can for yourself, and you’ll find yourself far more willing to do whatever it is you need to do.

avoid useless switcharoos

In the past two years, my site has lived on Wordpress, Squarespace, Cargo, Tumblr—and I’ve tried out Webflow, Ghost, Svbtle. I landed here an Blot.im.

While some of those switches have been for good reason (Blot is considerably cheaper and simpler than Cargo), more than worth the hours I spent re-creating my site, other switches have been useless. If in two months, I decide I want to use some other service, I’m just chasing novelty, which isn’t inherently good.

A perfect example: I switch the typeface on my site way too often. In the past two years, I’ve used: Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Px Grotesk, Roc Grotesk, DIN, Baskerville, Poppins, Cinderblock—far too many.1

While that seems harmless, every afternoon I spent messing around with new typefaces is an afternoon I didn’t spend reading, writing, or living my life.

So, a challenge for myself: avoid useless switcharoos.2

  1. In late 2018, I dropped $300 USD on NB International. Truly beautiful typeface, and that’s what I use as of this writing.↩︎

  2. A potent article about this theme: Confessions of a Recovering Lifehacker by John Pavlus↩︎